Stan is an intense sixteen-year-old loner who desperately wants to make the junior varsity basketball team. And it seems that he may be about to do so, until he's blindsided by the unexpected attentions of Janine Igwash.
Suddenly Stan is no longer thinking about jump shots. Instead he is obsessed with Janine's spiky hair, her milky white shoulders and the mysterious little tattoo at the base of her neck, not to mention the heat of her breath, her dark eyes, wide hips and . . . Then Stan's father arrives on the scene with Stan's four-year-old half brother, and things become truly insane.
Tilt is a wonderfully droll and insightful story about a sensitive, intelligent and gently funny young man living through an impossibly absurd time of life. This book is a rare achievement -- a witty, sexy compulsively readable work of high literary quality.
Note: Alan is on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Teen Read Week 2011 from YALSA. Join us for Picture It @ your library, Oct. 16-22. Now is the perfect time to begin planning your Teen Read Week celebration. See also Picture It Book List from YALSA. Note: learn more about Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins).
Character Entry Trait: Prejudiced by Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse. See also the Emotion Thesaurus and Character Traits Thesaurus.
Advice for Agents (Including Me) from Rachelle Gardner. Peek: "...it’s important to remember that the writer not only paid a lot of money to be at that conference, they also used up their precious “agent meeting” slot on you. They’ve probably been thinking about this meeting for days or even weeks. They deserve your very best, even if it stretches you." Source: Jon Gibbs. Note: much of this also applies to critiques of beginners by established authors. See also Let Your Agent Be the Bad Guy.
Safety Tips for Authors/Bloggers by The Buried Editor from Buried in the Slush Pile. Peek: "...think twice before telling the world how much you hate XYZ editor or ABC publishing house. You may want to do business with them someday, and if they find your comment (and they will), they may not want to do business with you."
How to Get the Most Out of a Critique by Tabitha at Writer Musings. Peek: "If there is something in the feedback that doesn’t make sense, ask for clarification. The information might be a gem if phrased in a different way."
Frustration: Your Novel's Best Friend by Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: "...while we try to avoid this emotion, it's important we make sure our characters don't."
Remembering 9-11-01 by Alvina Ling from Blue Rose Girls. Note: Alvina highlights a series of 9-11 animated short stories by Story Corps as well as related thoughts from authors David Levithan, Meg Cabot, and Maureen Johnson (click byline links to view/read). See also Remembering 9-11: a children's book bibliography by Dianne White from ReaderKidZ and yet another author post from Bethany Hegedus.
Little Island Comics from Eric Orchard. Note: a peek into Toronto's newest comic book store.
A Talk with Award-winning Illustrator David Diaz by Kimberly Gee from Where the Sidewalk Begins. Peek: "The last few years have been a sort of perfect storm of change in the book industry which we are still navigating through. I recognized that I had to become proactive, to do things differently. Whenever there is uncertainty, there is opportunity."
Where Do I Go from Here? Three Literary Agents, Three Opinions: a workshop featuring Andrea Cascardi of Transatlantic Literary Agency, Anna Olswanger of Liza Dawson Associates, and Ann Tobias of A Literary Agency for Children's Books from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at SLC Conference Center in New York, New York.
Cynsational Reader Tip: beware of pirate download sites, purporting to offer the text of children's-YA books in their entirety. Many are scams--the text isn't there and/or the download comes with computer viruses. All of them are violating the authors' copyright. "Stolen" sales undercut both the authors' ability to financially support themselves so they can continue writing and their official sales numbers, which publishers take into consideration when deciding whether to purchase future manuscripts. On a budget? Go to the library instead. If the book you want is not on the shelves ask the librarian to order it or request an inter-library loan.
What Are You Trying to Say? a question for author-bloggers from Megan Frazer. Peek: "How casual or formal do I want to be? Is this a place for my take on pop culture or more lengthy discourse on societal, cultural, and literary trends? Am I writing as an educator or a writer?"
Jessica Lee Anderson on the release of Calli (Milkweed, 2011)! From the promotional copy: "Fifteen-year-old Calli has just about everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to be foster parents. Unfortunately, being a foster sister to Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. Funny, moving, and emotionally rich, Calli is a portrait of an endearing young woman caught between adolescence and adulthood, striving to do the right thing even when all of her options seem wrong." Note: Jessica will be doing a brief reading (with refreshments) following the Austin SCBWI monthly meeting at BookPeople on Sept. 17.
Call for Papers on "Children's Literature and Imaginative Geography" from IBBY Canada. Peek: "In October 2012, the Department of English at the University of Ottawa will host a symposium on 'Children’s Literature and Imaginative Geography: Past, Present, and Future.'"
Editing Books for Girls When You're a Boy by Daniel Nayeri of Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Peek: "As a male editor in children’s books / YA books, I get a lot of questions around the fact that there aren’t a lot of male editors in the children’s books / YA books."
Looking Around For A New Agent While Still Represented By Another Agent by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com. Peek: "It reflects poorly on you (even if we sign you, we will always wonder…are they querying others behind our backs?), and the agent you contact might, if they end up offering representation, get a reputation as a 'poacher,' someone who steals clients from other agents."
On Eurocentricity in Fantasy Fiction by Cinda Williams Chima from Diversity in YA Fiction. Peek: "I want the people in my books to reflect the diversity in the world at large, including people of color, strong characters of both genders, gay and straight people. Yes, it’s fantasy, but believable fantasy is always based on real life. In fact, much of the conflict in my high fantasy series is driven by racial and cultural clashes."
Marianna Baer on the release of Frost House (Balzar + Bray/HarperCollins, 2011)! From the promotional copy: "Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?"
The Great Migration: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Amistad/Harper, 2010): a book trailer by Gina Saldana and readers' guide by Annabel Moreno from Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Chidren. Note: includes summary, review excerpts, awards and honors, questions to ask before reading, suggestions for reading poems aloud, follow-up activities, and related websites and books.
Stats on LGBT Young Adult Books Published in the United States from Malinda Lo. Peek: "...a number of LGBT YA books weren’t actually about an LGBT teen, but rather were about a straight teen and his LGBT parents or adult guardians." Note: nifty use of graphs and charts.
This Week's Cynsations Posts
- New Voice: Shayne Leighton on Of Light and Darkness
- Penny Colman on A Book Title with a Mind of Its Own
- Guest Post: Ellen Jensen Abbott on The Pain in the Backstory
- Author Interview: Kallie George and Abigail Halpin on The Melancholic Mermaid
- "Orphan Child" by the National Cherokee Youth Choir
Liar, Liar and Flat Broke by Gary Paulsen (Random House, 2011). To enter, comment on this post (click link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or you can email me directly with "Paulsen" in the subject line. Publisher sponsored. Deadline: Sept. 16. U.S. readers eligible.
Enter to win one of three Snuggle Mountain apps (IPhone and IPad users only). To enter, comment on this post (click link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or you can email Cynthia directly with "Snuggle Mountain app" in the subject line. Author sponsored. Deadline: Sept. 26. For extra entries (itemize efforts in your entry comment/email with relevant links): blog about this giveaway; share the link to this post on facebook; share the link to this post on Twitter; share the link to this post on Google+; like Lindsey's Facebook author page.
Cynsational Screening Room
In an interview with the creators of Babymouse, a graphic novel series from Random House Children's Books, Jennifer and Matthew Holm discuss Babymouse, the character, the series, and the inspiration behind it all. Source: Random House.
Congratulations to Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel on the release of After Obsession (Bloomsbury, 2011)! Note: Carrie also is a co-anthologist for Dear Bully (Harper, 2011).
Congratulations to fellow Austinite P.J. Hoover on the paperback release of Solstice (Andrea Brown, 2011). See the award-winning trailer below.
Generations United recommends Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000) as a great book for Grandparents Week. Note: "National nonprofit works to connect children, youth and older adults through intergenerational programs and policies."
Cover Stories: Tantalize: Kieren's Story by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Melissa Walker. Peek: "He has a full head of hair and generous nose, both befitting a Wolf, but he’s still firmly human, too. This is important because it’s Kieren’s intelligence– rather than his instincts—that he relies on most." Note: see cover under "events" below.
Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith: a review from Moirae (the fates) Book Reviews. Peek: "All of the relationships felt believable, and I never felt like they were forced. The dialogue is strong, and Smith isn't afraid to show that her characters have flaws, which is really refreshing...."
- Godspeed Obiwan from Cynthia Lord
- And May the Force Be With You Obiwan
- Mysterious Paper Sculptures (must see)!
- Hand-illustrated Tokien Book from April Henry
- Kick Up Yer Heels from Debbie Gonzales at Simple Saturday
- Keep Trying from Brian Yansky
From Greg Leitich Smith:
Cynthia Leitich Smith for a discussion and signing of Tantalize: Kieren's Story (Candlewick, 2011) at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston.
Note: "This event is free and open to the public. In order to go through the signing line and meet Cynthia Leitich Smith for book personalization, you must purchase Tantalize: Kieren’s Story from Blue Willow Bookshop. A limited number of autographed copies of Cynthia’s books will be available for purchase after the event. If you cannot attend the event, but would like a personalized copy of her book, please call Blue Willow before the event at 281.497.8675."
Austin Teen Book Festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1 at Palmer Events Center in Austin. The event is free! No need to register, just show up! Students do not need to be accompanied by an adult.
Illustrator Ming Doyle will be signing Tantalize: Kieren's Story at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at Brookline Booksmith (279 Harvard Street) in Brookline, Massachusetts. Guests are invited to participate in a vampire/werewolf costume contest.
Cynthia Leitich Smith will be appearing at Austin Comic Con, scheduled for Nov. 11 to Nov. 13 at the Austin Convention Center.